Aussies Living Simply

Diluting Aerated Compost Tea

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    Hi Everyone,

    Some advice please,

    I have searched on ALS and the internet.

    I’m currently brewing some compost tea, put it on this afternoon and will be ready to use after work tomorrow when I get home 🙂

    35l of water (approx)

    a fork full of compost



    what I need to know is should I dilute the tea before applying it to my garden beds and or plants?

    Attached files


    Hi Mathew,

    Was just reading about this in a book, it says

    1 part compost

    3 parts water

    Give it a good stir leave 3 days, strain liquid and use

    can use same compost for 3 or 4 more batchs, doesnt say to dilute.

    Hope this helps



    Hi Lizzie.

    I’ve read heaps of articles after my first attempt went anaerobic and stank like…

    Aeration from what I have read, is really important as it allows the good bacteria or fungus (depending what you want to fertilise) to flourish.

    When it goes anaerobic it stinks as the compost rots instead of doing its composty thing…

    The anaerobic teas (ones that have sat stagnant for days or weeks) have said to dilute to the colour of weak tea.

    The aerated ones haven’t specified either way 🙁


    The worm wee teas, which are prepared in a similar way to promote the aerobic bacteria (use worm castings instead of compost, which would be a much smaller amount than the compost you put in the water) I think are diluted one part of the tea to ten parts water.

    Probably doesn’t help much, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

    How long have you been brewing your compost tea for? I tried a weed tea, but it turned anaerobic, stunk and attracted the flies/ maggots… Ewww… so was put off doing anything with the weeds!!


    Fozzie: I tried making a “Weed Tea” from a heap of leaves I took from a Mung Bean – Wrapped it in Hessian put it in the bin, filled with water and left it for 3 weeks.

    Came back, took the lid off and proceeded to misplace my lunch. It was the most disgusting thing I have ever smelled.

    I did some reading and found that it went anaerobic and that was the cause of the ghastly aroma.

    So what I did was dig out an old air pump from my unused aquarium stuff – Waited for the memory of the smell to glaze over and started again.

    Then my first post.

    I got home this afternoon and used the brew. Smelled like Molasses.

    It certainly wasn’t offensive – I did end up diluting it – 2 litres in a 9 litre watering can for seedlings and younger plants, 4 litres in the can and top up with water for established plants and on the compost.

    I’ll see if they are still alive in the morning :silly:

    There was what looked like scum on the top of the hessian sack it wasn’t there when I put it in so one can only assume it grew there overnight/today.

    I’ve attached some photos of this afternoon using the Tea.

    As it came out of the “Teapot”

    Diluted 4 litres tea to 5 of water.


    Hope the brew works a treat on your plants Mathew. Had to laugh when I read you’d ‘misplaced your lunch’, there are some shocking smells out there. The worst one I have is when I leave weeds and stuff in the wheelbarrow and it rains and it sit there for weeks till I need it, poo does it stink, maybe I should be adding it to the garden. Keep us updated on progress.


    Yes busylizzie it’s horrible 🙁

    The plants survived 🙂

    The Beans, Sweet Basil and “Cucurbit of Mystery” (it came up from compost I used) seem a lot greener this morning and throughout today – It could be me imagining it but I don’t think so.

    The ratio seems to be OK – nothing’s browned off or wilted.

    I made another batch yesterday with the same recipe – I’ll use it tomorrow on other parts of the garden 🙂


    Hi Guys,

    can I reserect this and ask.if you put seaweed and fish emulsion into this brew as well as molasses does it mean you do not need to use these products on your garden? If this is correct it will mean a huge saving. Also, from what I have read I was asuming this was only to be spaied on? Think I really need some clarification. HELP!


    Hi AbbysMum,

    I can’t help you with the fish emulsion side sorry I’ve never used it (I’m allergic to fish) 🙁 I imagine though, that you could dilute it in with the tea and apply at the same time.

    The compost tea though AFAIK can be sprayed on the foliage as a foliar feed. I only do that if I apply in the morning to make sure that it dries to avoid mildew etc. Otherwise I just water the plants with the tea instead of water 🙂 They seem to love it.


    We used to make a worm casting aerated brew from David Murphy’s Organic Growing with Worms book.

    It was 200 litres of water, a bucket of worm castings and then some ratios of charlie carp and molasses (I forget at the moment exactly how much) – it was aerated for around 8-10 hours then out on the garden using an aquarium pump.

    In his book he talks about this taking the bacteria count in the solution from “a very low 32,000 CFU (colony forming units) per gram of solution before feeding and aeration to 360,000,000 CFU afterwards.”

    It worked a treat. We didn’t dilute it before application either.




    Thanks Matthew and Sonya 🙂 that does give me some idea. and that David Murphy’s count rose so much does not surprise me. This is a new idea to me BUT for the last 2 years I have been using Molasses with seasol and powerfeed as a hose on application. The plants? well they just loved it you could see a noticable difference after 24 hours i swear. That I put down to the Molasses feeding the soil bacteria also. This really has me interested. Ya know, it is amazing how far we, as in mankind has come in a short period of time. I look at how my parents gardened and I do nothing like they did, with the exception of planting seed hehehe




    Hi everyone

    I dont think my compost tea is working.

    1st batch brewed for 4 days (didnt smell nice)

    2nd batch brewed for 2 days ( mucus on air stone and compst bag)

    My recipe is 30 l tank water

    2 hand fulls worm compost

    250g raw sugar

    Splash of seasol

    I have a small air pump

    The weather has been hot

    Any ideas?

    If it is anaerobic is it ok for the garden?


    Hi hopi,

    From what I understand and remember, you may be brewing it too long.

    Also Molasses would be preferable to raw sugar, the sugars in Molasses are simpler and easier for the microorganisms to break down and utilise.

    After 24 hours the goodies in your tea have reached a peak and after that not so goodies are starting to take over hence the nasty smell.

    Happy to stand corrected but that’s my recollection.

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